todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

October 12th 1492: Columbus lands in the Americas

On this day in 1492 the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas, thus ‘discovering’ the Americas, though he believed he had found India. He claimed the land for Spain, as his voyage had been sponsored by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his next three voyages claimed more areas of South America. His arrival ushered in a new era of European exploration and colonisation of the Americas, which included the expeditions of Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and Puritan settlers in New England. This day is celebrated in America as ‘Columbus Day’, though many now consider the day a distasteful celebration of an event that was followed by persecution and attempted genocide of indigenous Americans. Columbus’s arrival in America marked a major turning point in world history, as it set the stage for the expansion of European empires and trading routes through ruthless colonisation.

todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

September 16th 1620: Mayflower sets sail

On this day in 1620, the Mayflower started her voyage from Great Britain to North America. She carried 102 passengers, many of whom were pilgrims who later settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. By November they sighted land and landed at Cape Cod and proceeded the settle there, though around half died during the first harsh winter in the New World. The site where the Mayflower pilgrims landed at Plymouth is marked today by ‘Plymouth Rock’. The Mayflower left for England the next April. The journey of the Mayflower is considered a major and symbolic event in American history as the ship carried the some of the first European settlers to America’s shores.

todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

August 28th 1955: Emmett Till murdered

On this day in 1955, the 14-year-old African-American boy Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. While visiting family in the state, Till allegedly flirted with the young white shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant while buying candy. Bryant told her husband and a few nights later he and his half-brother abducted Till and brutally tortured and murdered him. His mutilated body was found three days later in the Tallahatchie river; Till’s face was unrecognisable, but he was identified by the ring he wore engraved with his father’s initials that his mother gave him before he left for Mississppi. The viciousness of this unprovoked, racially-motivated crime sent shockwaves throughout the nation. The case drew attention to the oppression of African-Americans throughout the nation and provided a name and a face to the threat of lynching. Till’s mother Mamie, a highly educated woman who went on to become a devoted fighter for African-American equality, insisted on an open-casket funeral in order to show the world what was done to her young son. Thousands attended the funeral and thousands more saw the horrific images of Till’s body. Due to the fierce reactions the murder had engendered it was a particularly painful, but sadly expected, outcome when the all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Till’s killers, despite Till’s great-uncle openly identifying them in court. A few months later the killers, now protected by double jeopardy laws, sold their story to Look magazine and openly confessed to the murder in chilling detail. Taking place a year after the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, the outrage over the murder galvanised the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. 100 days after Emmett Till’s murder Rosa Parks, on her way back from a rally for Till hosted by the then-unknown Martin Luther King Jr., refused to give up her seat for a white man on an Alabama bus. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, thus beginning the movement that would result in the dismantling of the system of Jim Crow segregation and win successes in promoting African-American social and political equality.

todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

August 9th 1974: Nixon resigns

On this day in 1974 at noon, Richard M. Nixon became the first and only President of the United States to resign from office. He was replaced by his Vice-President Gerald Ford, who remains the only President to have never been elected Vice-President (as he was appointed in 1973 to replace Spiro Agnew), or President (as he lost his presidential re-election bid in 1976 to Jimmy Carter). Richard Nixon resigned due to the revelations of the Watergate scandal that his administration had been involved in illegal activities, which included breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex, covering up said break-in, and widespread wiretapping. He long denied direct knowledge of these activities, but after the Supreme Court forced him to hand over the tapes of his conversations in the Oval Office, Nixon’s involvement was clear. What was also made evident by the tapes was Nixon’s intense paranoia, his rough demeanor and his often racist attitudes. He resigned rather than face impeachment and almost certain removal by Congress. He was later pardoned for his crimes by Ford, who hoped his decision would help America heal and move on. 40 years on, Richard Nixon is mainly remembered for the corruption and dishonesty of Watergate, which discredited the presidency for many years after. However, his numerous achievements in office must not be forgotten: he cooled down the Cold War with his policy of détente and was the first President to visit China and Moscow; withdrew American troops from Vietnam; supported affirmative action policies; established the Environmental Protection Agency; supported the Equal Rights Amendment; and oversaw major desegregation of schools. Nixon is rightfully remembered for his role in Watergate and his unprecedented resignation in disgrace but we must be wary of only seeing one side of one of the most controversial figures of American history.

40 years ago today

todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

June 13th 1971: Pentagon Papers published

On this day in 1971, the New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers, a series of Defense Department documents which revealed secrets about US involvement in Vietnam. They contained a history of America’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967, revealing the questionable activities of several Presidents. Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, leaked the documents to the New York Times when he became disaffected with the war in Vietnam. President Nixon challenged the newspaper’s right to publish the documents, but the Supreme Court ruled in New York Times v. United States that the papers could be published. Nixon continued in his efforts to fight the release, and had his team of ‘plumbers’ attempt to ‘plug the leaks’, who eventually broke into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in an attempt to discredit him. Many of these men would go on to form the Committee to Re-Elect the President, whose illegal break in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex unraveled the Nixon presidency and led to his resignation. The release of the Pentagon Papers also had a more immediate impact, with revelations about the secret campaigns of the Johnson administration with its bombing of Cambodia and Laos especially outraging the public and contributing to the powerful anti-war movement within the United States.

todaysdocument

ourpresidents:

It’s the 90th Birthday of George Bush!

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts.

On his 18th birthday, Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts with World War II raging on two fronts.  That same day, although he had been accepted at Yale University, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class.  He received his wings on June 9, 1943, becoming the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy at the time.

During World War II, Bush flew torpedo bombers, completing 58 missions. On a run over Chichi Jima in 1944, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Bush bailed out and was rescued by a Navy submarine.  

For his service during WWII, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.

Watch this space for more on the life of George Bush throughout today.

Happy Birthday President Bush!

-from the Bush Library on the Presidential Timeline

Photos:

George Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, circa 1925; At age 12; At Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. circa 1940; U.S. Navy Portrait (1942-1945); U.S. Navy Pilot George Bush in the cockpit of an Avenger, (1942-45).

Happy 90th Birthday!

Throwback Thursday: June 12th 1969 Headlines

There wasn’t much breaking local news in Antioch around this time in 1969. Front-page stories included the new girls’ softball team and the passed referendum for Grasslake School.

Did you know that you can read the Antioch News’ archived issue in its entirety for June 12, 1969?

pbsthisdayinhistory
ourpresidents:

The Defeat of German Nazi Forces
On this day in 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.
This photo was taken in the War Room of the Allied Supreme Headquarters. On General Jodl’s left is General Admiral Von Friedenburg of the German Navy, and on his right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German general staff.   May 7, 1945.  U.S. Army.
from the Eisenhower Library 

ourpresidents:

The Defeat of German Nazi Forces

On this day in 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.

This photo was taken in the War Room of the Allied Supreme Headquarters. On General Jodl’s left is General Admiral Von Friedenburg of the German Navy, and on his right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German general staff.   May 7, 1945.  U.S. Army.

from the Eisenhower Library